Along with athletes (usually runners), this chronic condition tends to affect pregnant women due to the additional weight on the ligament. Common symptoms include foot pain, stiffness, tenderness, and heel pain. The condition can be diagnosed based on its history and physical examination. If you are feeling discomfort in your heel, however, don’t be discouraged as there are a few things you can do to ease the pain.
Calves or the taut muscles in your feet can aggravate your plantar fasciitis. You can prevent or soothe the pain with some easy stretches recommend by personal training expert, Deborah Lynn Irmas. She is also a triathlete certified by the American Council on Exercise, and she endured the condition after making too many sprints in her training sessions. Irmas recommends the following to keep you free of the pain.
Stretch the Calves
- Stand about an arm’s length from the wall and put your right foot behind the left one.
- Gently and gradually bend the left foot forward, keeping the right knee straight and the right heel on the ground.
- Hold this position between 15-30 seconds and the release.
- Reverse the legs position and repeat the stretch.
This simple stretch targets the calf’s gastrocnemius muscle, and as your plantar fascia starts to heal or the pain alleviates, you can deepen the stretch by doing it while both of your legs are a bit bent. When performed in this manner, the soleus muscle found in the lower calf will loosen. However, do not hold these stretches for too long.
Seated Plantar Fascia Stretching Exercises
In this section, there are there seated exercises that will help alleviate plantar fasciitis. While doing them, ensure that you sit up straight.
For the first one, seat on a chair and roll the foot back and forth over an ice-cold can, foam roller, or frozen water bottle. Do this for about a minute and switch the foot.
Second, cross your right leg over the left one. Grab the big toe and gradually pull it towards you. Hold it for not more than 30 seconds and do it three times. Reverse and repeat for the left foot.
For the third, fold a towel lengthwise in order to create a workout strap. Sit down and put it under the arches of your feet. Grab both ends of the towel and slowly pull the tops of the feet towards you. Hold the position for half a minute and repeat three times.
These simple seated stretches will not only help alleviate the pain but doing them before your workout session can help prevent plantar fasciitis.
Additional Tips & Precautions
It is important that you give running a break until the plantar fascia inflammation calms down. People heal at different paces, but generally, you’ll want to take a break of about two weeks. Ice the ligament, do the stretches, and if the pain is too much, take anti-inflammatory medicine.
When the stretches and icing have reduced the pain, you can then start tiny runs. Experts suggest running a short distance slowly and taking a break to stretch. You can start by, for instance, the distance between one electricity pole to the next and gradually move to two trees, houses, etc. Ensure you do the stretches as you increase the distance.
Regular stretching and rest can undoubtedly help heal plantar fasciitis, but it’s ideally essential to ensure you have sturdy shoes when you get back to running. Adequate support and ideal fit, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, are vital in preventing heel pain and other related injuries. That being said, ensure you get yourself a new pair of sturdy running or workout shoes or Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis and change them as needed to ascertain ideal support and cushioning.